Sepedi Language Module And Classroom Literacy Education Essay

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Try make an intro that introduces what you are being asked to write about. (set the scene)

South Africa is an extremely diverse country consisting of many different races, religions and cultures. Language works hand-in-hand with these three elements and is something that sets our country apart from the rest of the world. (find a quote from eg Jacob Zuma about SA's languages)

My mother tongue is English and my second language is Afrikaans and this year I was given the opportunity to choose one of the 11 official African languages as a language module.

The University believes that this will give us more understanding of classroom literacies and and linguistic diversity in our country.

I chose Sepedi as it...

The purpose of having classroom literacy is to empower students to become literate in a specific language and thereafter to be able to express themselves in a professional manner in terms of that language and the subject they choose to teach using that language. It serves no purpose to have students learn a specific subject in a language, say Afrikaans that they are not familiar with and perhaps even have no desire to learn, and then have to teach it in English or Sepedi. The reason therefore that Learning Institutions, such as accredited Universities like TUKS, offer Mother Tongue courses is precisely to counter this problem. One of the main purposes would be Empowerment which would seem to be the catalyst in the drive to educate students in their preferred language. Another main purpose would be to break down the barrier that was created, albeit (too old fashioned) invisibly, between the Western and the African culture. Once this is achieved there could be harmony in the cultural diversities that exist.

There is a huge linguistic diversity within all Educational Institutions in South Africa. South Africa is one of the exceptionally few countries in the world that has eleven official languages recorded in its Constitution. There are a handful of educational facilities that have been privatized and as part of their specific curriculum, that only offer one standard language being English, as the preferred language. This type of institution would commonly offer one or two African languages as an optional language but in addition have three or four European languages such as German, Spanish, Italian and French as second and third languages. Public schools, by virtue of the volume of students with an African mother tongue and or the financial capability, or lack thereof, of the parents or guardians mainly offer English as the preferred language, and one to three of the ten remaining official languages as second and third language options. Students opting for an African language as their preferred language of learning and subsequent teaching would however need to clearly understand that they would, by virtue of their choice, be limited in terms of expanding their horizons outside the boundaries of South Africa. To clarify my point here are some examples; Namibia which has Owambo, Damara, Herero, German, English and Afrikaans; Botswana that has Setswana, English, Kalanga, Kgalagadi, Afrikaans and English; Zimbabwe has Shona, Ndebele, English, Kalanga, Tonga and Mozambique which has Portuguese, Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, Shona.

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Educators play a vital and essential role in the issue of sensitizing students to the diverse cultural differences in the language modules available. Whilst there may be those that share a different opinion on this issue, I believe it is essential that all basic education is done in English as this is the preferred International language on which virtually all education is based. Educators should never force students to learn a specific language because they personally either cannot speak it, like it or perhaps even are not able to teach that specific language. Having a second or third language can only be beneficial to those that can and will make use of this ability.

I would see the benefit of having one or more additional language modules in African languages only for those students that have the desire to further their education in their desired field, or become teachers where they would be able to utilize what they have learnt pertaining specifically to the language they have chosen. Having said that, it is always beneficial to learn or have learnt any additional language. An implication of this would be that the student, who will ultimately be the teacher, will have to learn, and master, that specific language before they would be able to teach any learners or prospective students correctly. It serves no purpose to learn a language in a mediocre fashion and then attempt to teach learners in that mediocre fashion. The result would be catastrophic. So dramatic?

In my personal opinion I feel that there are too many African language options available and then, by contrast, not enough foreign ones available as choices or options for students. This would be particularly applicable to students that have a desire to expand their education in a foreign country where the language barrier could be the deciding factor when it comes to an application for a position. It is always a prerequisite that any prospective candidate for a position in a foreign country is literate in that specific language or at least can show that they are learning or have an interest in the language. I also understand that there is a huge financial burden on Educational Institutions to have the infrastructure to be able to provide all these languages to their students. Software development is very expensive and takes a lot of time to develop and perfect. In addition to all the infrastructure and resources needed to offer all these languages, the Educational Institution would also have to employ additional mother tongue speaking and educated staff to teach these languages at a cost. The cost would have to be weighed up against the time spent by each educator and compared to the number of students per class to see if this would be a viable option. The chance that such classes would be, could be or could even become viable, is highly unlikely and therefore would become a financial burden for the Institution.

I am also of the opinion that no Educational Institution should or should have to offer language modules in all eleven languages. The reason for this is twofold; one, that many of the African languages are very similar and could effectively be integrated into other languages and therefore do not warrant the vast expense of development and two, that the minority languages have so few students that it also does not make financial sense to do this. Sadly the financial implication plays a critical role in all decision making, not only in business but also in Education, in South Africa as in the rest of the world.

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What you learnt in the module include 4 examples of vocab or phrases

What you did in the module

How others felt about the module

Talk about indebele assignment and what you gained from that

Overall do you feel that it was worth the time and effort?

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In conclusion…

Sum up classroom literacies

Sum up foreign languages

Sum up financial implications

Close off with forming your opinion

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